The deaths of Anthony Bourdain and Charles Krauthammer may be practically forgotten and long gone from the internet’s trending topics by now. Yet, they deserve to be remembered.
They were artists who, to the best of my knowledge, never painted a portrait or sculpted a bust. They used words, reasoning, experiences, paper and ink, and cameras and microphones as their media.
Bourdain was the original rock star chef and culinary bad boy. His TV shows, especially his most recent, “Parts Unknown”, were works of art and honesty. Tony graciously ate whatever was set before him to show respect for his hosts to get them to talk about their food, their culture, and their hopes and fears.
He surprised me time and time again with fascinating information about other cultures and his narration of the adventure was always eloquent.
I know nothing of the inner desperation that led to his suicide, but I know he put together an artful program that helped me to begin to understand people better.
Charles Krauthammer was the most influential columnist of a generation.
A diving accident left him paralyzed from the neck down when he was only twenty-two years old. Even so, he finished medical school and became a psychiatrist. Realizing the effect of government and politics has on our everyday lives, astonishingly, he transitioned to become a speech writer, magazine editor, a Peabody awarded columnist, and a news consultant.
No doubt, he was a giant intellect. His line of reasoning was impeccable. He was direct, but eloquent and civil. He loved his wife and son, baseball and the Washington Nationals, and chess. He adored writing a weekly column and his nightly appearances on the Special Report panel.
His colleagues all attest to his quickness to articulate an understanding and position on news events, as well as his congeniality, and playful wit.
Yes, he was paralyzed from the neck down and still lived a life he loved, loving others along the way, being loved in return for all he gave.
“I leave this life with no regrets. It was a wonderful life — full and complete with the great loves and great endeavors that make it worth living. I am sad to leave, but I leave with the knowledge that I lived the life that I intended.” – Charles Krauthammer
These men brought us a perspective that still is greatly needed. An understanding of people from other cultures and ethnicities and a rational line of reasoning is needed now, perhaps more than ever in my lifetime.